Ultimate Guide to Beer in Barcelona
ALL ABOUT THE BARCELONA BEER WORLD
October is the month of the Barcelona Beer Festival, so there’s no better time to explore the local beer scene than now. In this post you’ll find everything you need to know about the most popular domestic beer brands (in supermarkets as well as bars), how to order a beer and what are the top craft beer bars and breweries.
Did you know that beer is the most popular drink in Spain, even before wine? That’s because wine is seen as a drink that enhances a meal, but not so much as an easy drink to socialize. And Spaniards love to socialize! A beer goes well with some tapas, for any informal lunch or dinner, during vermut time, when watching a soccer match or when you go out for some drinks with your friends. Discover the Barcelona beer world with us!
How to order beer in BarcelonaMany tourists arrive to Barcelona with part of the lesson learnt: "Una cerveza, por favor" (in Spanish: "A beer, please"). But then either the waiter will shrug and give you whatever beer he or she wants, or you'll be asked to be more precise and you won't know how to continue. Let's fix that! Here are the most common ways to order a beer in Barcelona:
- Un quinto. That’s a small bottle of beer: 200ml / 0.42 US pints. It’s the smallest bottle you’ll see, a fifth of a liter (quinto actually meaning “fifth”). In other places of Spain this is known as a “botellín” (small bottle).
- Una mediana (or una mitjana, in Catalan). That’s the largest bottle a bar can serve: 333ml / 0.70 US pints. In other places of Spain it is called a tercio or a medio.
- Una caña (or una canya, in Catalan). This is a draft beer served in a long glass. Although the exact amount can vary a lot from bar to bar, and even more from one region of Spain to the other.
- Una clara. That’s a shandy in Barcelona: beer with lemon soda. But careful: in other areas of Spain they use sparkling water instead of lemon soda in a clara, so there you’ll have to be specific and order una clara de limón.
- Una litrona or una Xibeca. This is something you won’t order at a bar, but mostly buy in a supermarket to share with your friends. It’s a bottle of one liter of beer (from litro – liter, litrona). Xibeca is actually the most common brand of large beer bottles in Barcelona, and often people uses it to refer to any large bottle no matter the brand.
- Una birra. Sorry, that just means “one beer”. It’s an informal word for beer that you can use with friends, or in beer bars, but it’s worth knowing.
And of course, you can always order directly by the name of the brand “Una Heineken”, for instance. And then you’ll be served whatever size they have of that particular brand.
Best brands of commercial beer from Barcelona, Spain and abroad:
Barcelona Beer Brands
- San Miguel. Originally founded in the Philipines in 1885, when the archipelago was still under Spanish control, the company moved to Spain after the Philipines became independent. Then in 1946 the company split in two entities that share name and logo but operate in different areas of the world: one in Asia and America and the other in Europe. The Spanish company had its headquarters in Catalonia until 2017 when the offices were moved to Malaga due to the unstable political situation in our land, but they continue to have a brewery in Lleida (3 hours away from Barcelona). Nowadays they are part of the Maho-San Miguel group, the largest producer in Spain. The most common size in bars is the quinto. Bars might also have this brand for their gluten-free and alcoho-free beer options.
- Damm. Founded by two Alsatian brothers in Barcelona in 1876. Their most popular product is Estrella Damm, a pale lager served as a mediana / mitjana. They also have Voll-Damm, a double malt commonly sold in bars, and Bock Damm, a dark beer. Bars often have their Free Damm for alcohol-free beer and Damm Lemon as a ready-made alternative to clara. The Xibeca brand is also owned by Damm.
- Moritz. Founded in 1856, they claim to be the oldest brewery in Barcelona (even if it went out of bussiness between 1978-2004), this is why the locals consider it the “vintage” beer of Barcelona. They have a brewery open for visitors and two tapas bars in town, one in their old brewery. Their most popular brand is Moritz Original. They also have their Epidor, a more intense one, a couple of 0,0 (alcohol-free) beers and a shandy called Radler – but they aren’t as easily found as the Original.
Other Spanish beer brands that you can find in Barcelona
- Mahou. From the Mahou – San Miguel group. It is the Spanish best-seller, but it’s mostly popular in the center of Spain (Madrid and Castilla) as well as the Balearic Islands and Andalusia.
- Cruzcampo. Owned now by Heineken, but original from Andalusia (South of Spain)
- Estrella Galicia. Original from Galicia (North of Spain)
- Alhambra. Owned by Mahou-San Miguel and original from Andalusia.
- Turia. Original from Valencia.
International beer brands that are easy to find in Barcelona
- Heineken. From Amsterdam.
- Amstel. Owned by Heineken.
- Coronita. The famous Mexican one.
- Stella Artois. From Belgium.
- Guiness Draught. The irish draft beer.
- Budweiser. The great American lager.
Top breweries of Barcelona
Garage Beer Co
Probably the most iconic of the Barcelona breweries, they have a brewery and shop in the city center, and a beer bar in Poblenou where they also serve pizza. Their beers are canned and decorated with urban and bold designs. They do a bit of everything: lager, IPA, hop, dark… They have created the first beer club in Barcelona, where members are sent their latest creations once a month.
LOCATION. 261, Consell de Cent (Eixample district) and 45, Passeig Calvell (Poblenou district).
A family owned brewpub that brews over a dozen varieties of their own beers. Their products are easy to identify, as they all share the same logo of a cartoon dog wearing glasses in bright colors that change depending on each product. The bar also serves Asian-American food (burgers, nachos, BBQ ribs, ramen, dumplings…). And they also have a membership program that ships a monthly beer crate to members (Spain and Portugal only). They also do brewery visits on Saturday afternoon, by appointment only.
LOCATION. Palau del Mar, Pl. de Pau Vila, 1 (Barceloneta district)
Freddo Fox (former Edge Brewing)
LOCATION. 22, Llull (Poblenou district)
Barcelona Beer Company
They are proud of using natural spring water from the Montseny natural park, and a totally natural product that has no additives and is not pasteurized. And that has granted them over a dozen national and international awards. Maybe the best craft beer in Barcelona?
LOCATION. Their brewery is outside of Barcelona, in Llinars del Valles. Their bar on Muntaner street doesn’t seem to exist anymore… But you can find their beers in a lot of Barcelona beer bars as well as in a lot of supermarket chains.
A traditional restaurant was transformed in a temple of beer in 2015. They have a brewpub where they serve tapas and burgers, and a taproom with 40 tapas, 75% of wich serve their own craft beers brewed next door. Their motto is “We’ll never serve an Imperial Stout at the same temperature than a Lager” – and that is achieved thanks to their 3 separate refrigeration lines that allow them to serve each type of beer at the right temperature for it. They make part of the Instituto de la Cerveza Artesana, the training center for beer makers in Barcelona.
LOCATION. 7, Vila i Vilà (Poblesec district)
A brewpub for foodies, as the bar name says this is not a place for just “homo sapiens” but for “homo sybarites”. They have over 130 beers, 8 of them their own. They have their own sommelier and beer specialist, that helps them choosign their offer and the choices on their delicious cheese platters.
LOCATION. 4, Plaça d’Osca (Sants district)
Birra Artesana 08
LOCATION. 165, Llacuna street (El Clot District).
La Cervesera Artesana
Everything started with them: they were the first microbrewery in Spain, founded in 1996. They produce over 25 types of their own beer, and they also serve over a hundred of beers from Barcelona and beyond, including a broad selection of gluten-free choices.
LOCATION. 14, Carrer de Sant Agustí (Gracia district)
The only Belgium-style brewery in Barcelona. Their creativity leads them to produce innovative award-winning tastes with hints of honey, pepper, tonka beans and herbs. They offer 5 permanent house craft beers, plus half a dozen seasonal ones, plus several bottles and cans. In their brew pub they also serve gourmet tapas and sandwiches.
LOCATION. 45, Parlament street (Sant Antoni District).
Best Barcelona beer bars
LOCATION. 55, Muntaner street (Eixample district)
Mikkeller is to beer lovers what Hard Rock Cafe is to American food lovers: you look for one wherever you travel. The original Mikkeller is in Copenhague (Denmark) where their main brewery is, and this is their Barcelona branch where you’ll find Mikkeller beers. Modern ambiance, no food.
LOCATION. 202, Valencia street (Eixample district)
Open since 2014, the oldest craft beer in El Raval, you’ll find here 30 rotating taps carefully curated and including both domestic and international references. They also serve street food with plenty of vegetarian options. Don’t miss their evening DJ sessions.
LOCATION. 74, Hospital street (Raval district)
LOCATION. 69, Casanova street (Raval district)
A temple of American street food and craft beer. They have half a dozen taps of Spanish beer, but their food is worth checking out. Hipster atmosphere, beers served in mason jars.
LOCATION. Several venues. You’ll find them in Raval, Poblenou, Les Corts and Gracia.
Fun pub with 18 craft beer rotating taps that change every day. Their offer includes both local and international breweries, as well as beer cocktails. They have a lively cultural program including mic nights, DJ sessions and art displays.
LOCATION. 7, Cardenal Casañas (Gothic Quarter).
Ale & Hop
LOCATION. 10, Basses de Sant Pere (Born District).
Open way before the area became the meca of youngsters looking for cheap tapas, back in 1992, they were the pioneers of craft beer in Barcelona. A large selection of beers, plus nice burgers and sandwiches.
LOCATION. 43, Margarit street (Poblesec District).
La més petita
The name of this pub means “The smallest”, because the venue is really tiny. But their reduced interior is compensated with their outdoor terrace and the possibility to take away. 8 rotating taps of craft beer, plus a nice list of whisky and bourbon, good music and snacks.
LOCATION. 30, Diputacio street (Eixample District).
WEBSITE: Facebook Page
CocoVail Beer Hall
A beer pub inspired in vintage movies, serving over 180 bottled beers from all over the world, but mostly European. They also have 30 tapas curated by their own somelier. In their restaurant you’ll find an extensive variety of tapas, salads, pasta, eggs, burgers, veggie dishes, meats and seafood. Even paella! you can even have breakfast there (whereas most other beer bars don’t open until the late afternoon).
LOCATION. 7, Carme street (Raval District).
A place that breaths the spirit of the Gracia district, it features 18 taps with 3 permanent taps and 15 rotating ones. Don’t miss their grilled sandwiches names after streets from the neighborhood.
LOCATION. 23, Rabassa street (Gracia District).
WEBSITE: Facebook Page
Restaurants for beer lovers
El Racó d'en Cesc
LOCATION. 201, Diputacio street (Eixample District).
BOOK A TABLE AND SEE REVIEWS >>
A lovely cafe serving a delicious brunch from 10AM to 4PM. You’ll be able to taste the 3 different beer varieties they brew in their microbrewery in the subburbs.
LOCATION. 31, Pintor Fortuny (Raval District).
A gourmet restaurant and tapas bar, where you can book a tasting menu with food & beer pairing including 5 international beers.
LOCATION. 3, Floridablanca street (Sant Antoni District).
BOOK A TABLE AND SEE REVIEWS >>
Barcelona beer shops
They also run a small beer bar with 9 taps but over 600 references in their menu list. They also keep a house selection at affordable prices, and are one of the few places in Barcelona serving michelada (a refresing beer-based drink with lemon juice, salt, sauces and spices). In the bar they also serve tasty food: burgers, patatas bravas, croquettes, food made with beer as an ingredient, handmade cheese and veggie options.
LOCATION. 4 and 8, Manigua street (Guinardó District).
Rosses i Torrades
They define themselves as a beer cellar, and RateBeer has awarded them the prize to the best beer store in Spain for several years in a row. Their name translate as “blond and toasted (beers)”, but in Catalan you can also interpret it as “blond and tipsy (ladies)”. They feature over 500 beers, and they also have their own craft beer, The Oncle.
LOCATION. 192, Consell de Cent street (Eixample District).
The temple of Belgian beer in Barcelona, Spain. Their shop includes over 500 references of beer from Belgium, and they also have a Beer Club that sends you 12 beers per month, with its tasting notes and technical card. Just around the corner they run a beer bar with a couple of taps.
LOCATION. The bar is on 107 Tamarit, and the shop on 9, Rocafort (Sant Antoni District).
Beer Tours and Tastings in Barcelona
Craft Beer Tour
Beer Bike Tour
Don’t worry: you aren’t going to be driving after drinking. This is is a fun activity that takes place on a sort of trolley actioned by pedals but driven by your beer tour guide. The ride is not around any historical area (so not an alternative to a sightseeing bike tour, but it’s fun and you’ll be entitled to 1 liter (2 pints) of beer or other drinks per person. Up to 16 participants.
Beer Tasting Walking Tours
A walking tour that covers the Old Town and the Sant Antoni district, learning not just on beer, but also about the city history. The tour includes a visit to an iconic beer factory, three pub stops and up to 8 drinks. Small group tours of up to 12 people, or a private tour for you and your travel mates only.
Sunset sail with Corona beer
What about taking a beautiful sailboat and heading into the Mediterranean sea to watch the sunset, while sipping on a Corona beer? (2 bottles included in the tour). A romantic way to treat your beer-loving significant other. Up to 12 passengers, or private sail just for you and your travel mates.
Barcelona beer festivals
Barcelona Oktober Fest
BEGGINING OF OCTOBER. Join 12 days of beer festival inspired in the famous German celebration. Bavarian food, polka music and of course… Paulaner beer, the star of the event. The best way to enjoy it is to book a table (or even a VIP pass!). It takes place in the Montjuic fair and trade show area near Plaça Espanya.
The Barcelona Beer Festival
MID-OCTOBER. The largest beer festival in Barcelona has been celebrated for over 10 years during an entire weekend, and now it takes place in a larger venue in L’Hospitalet, a Barcelona suburb super easy to reach by subway. Over 650 beers, professional gatherings, beer contests, conferences, showcookings, pairings and more.
END OF OCTOBER. The newest beer event, being brewed by Garage Beer Co in the Sant Andreu district. Over 45 breweries from around the world, more than 300 beers, street food, good music! A great plan for the end of October!
We hope our Barcelona beer guide helps you explore the world of beer in Barcelona!
Marta is the founder of ForeverBarcelona. She is a passionate tour guide that loves Barcelona and loves writing too. She is the main author of our Blog, and is committed to sharing her knowledge about Barcelona and her best tips with our readers.
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